Window Into the Classroom: EmpowerMT Workshop

Window Into the Classroom: Martin Luther King Jr. Art and Essay Contest

The complete list of winners
Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
Camas Hopkins – 3rd Place Art
Jasper Stonesifer – 1st Place Essay
Reece Bauer – 2nd Place Essay
William Bradford – 3rd Place Essay
Mateo Sorenson – 3rd Place Essay

3rd Grade-5th Grade
Fiona Kier – 2nd Place Art
Mai Mckelvey-Pham – 3rd Place Essay

6th Grade – 8th Grade
Eliana Kessler – 3rd Place Art
Eden Maxwell – 1st Place Essay
Amelie Etter – 2nd Place Essay
Liam Richardson – 3rd Essay

The green-named students are invited to read their piece aloud at the MLK Day Celebration on Monday, January 21st from 6:00-7:30pm at St. Anthony Parish Church located at 217 Tremont Street, Missoula, MT 59801.

MLK Special Event Page

Teacher Feature: Gillian Kessler


You are getting ready for our MYP accreditation visit, what is something that has enhanced your teaching through this process?

I love learning more about global and diverse voices in literature and how the literary canon is shifting.  There are so many wonderful new young adult books that give voice and agency to such a wide array of human experiences.  I also feel like the MYP pushes me to continually reflect on my teaching goals and make sure that I differentiating to meet the needs of all of my students.

You are a published poet and writer, how do you bring your love of writing into the classroom?

I write with the students’ almost every day.  If I give them a journal prompt, I try to write with them as a way of modeling a commitment to creative expression.  If I provide a provocation for a poem, I take out my journal with them and share out my response as a way to encourage participation. The upcoming poetry unit in the 7th grade is near and dear to my heart; each year I add more poems from new poets that I have discovered over the course of the year.  I also continue to attend writing workshops and retreats on my own time; much of what I learn as an adult student is also very relevant for the children.  I also have many wonderful writer friends in our rich literary community of Missoula and I bring them into the classroom to help inspire the kiddos.

Finish this sentence…an ideal day for me would be…

Begin my day with a giant cup of Chai and a yoga practice while my children are still sleeping.  I’d then work on my own writing for an hour or so, followed by snuggles from my children.  If it were a winter day, I’d head to the Rattlesnake for a long cross-country ski and take in the quiet and solitude of our gorgeous watershed.  We’d end our day with a family dinner out somewhere downtown.